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Thursday 4 April 2024

Amnesty International Hosts Dialogue on Neocolonialism: An Artistic Exploration of Global Injustices

by Diane Official

In a world increasingly driven by consumerism and extractivism, communities around the globe bear the brunt of devastating impacts. On April 4th, Amnesty International, in collaboration with the student association of Saint Paul University hosted an immersive evening at the Atelier d’Innovation Sociale Mauril-Bélanger in Ottawa, Canada. Titled “101 Global Landback | Restitution des terres 101,” the event aimed to shed light on the interconnectedness of historical injustices with present-day struggles, particularly in Palestine, Congo, Haiti, and among indigenous communities worldwide.

The event, organized in collaboration with the student association of Saint Paul University, was spearheaded by Diana Official, its president. This collaboration brought together diverse perspectives and resources, enriching the dialogue and fostering a more inclusive and impactful event.

Kicking off with a dynamic presentation of themes and objectives, the event set the stage for a thought-provoking dialogue. From 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, attendees engaged in panel discussions, interactive art activities, and networking opportunities, all aimed at fostering solidarity and inspiring action.

The heart of the event lay in the panel discussions led by experts and activists intimately acquainted with the realities of neocolonialism, extractivism, and consumerism. Rachel, a representative from Amnesty International, facilitated these discussions, offering insightful perspectives on the impacts of these practices around the world. Through firsthand accounts and expert analysis, attendees gained a deeper understanding of the multifaceted nature of these injustices and the urgent need for collective action.

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As an artist, Diana Official used art as a means of expression. Art served as a powerful tool throughout the evening, enabling creative expression and amplifying voices often marginalized by mainstream narratives. Attendees were encouraged to bring their own art supplies and participate in interactive activities aimed at raising awareness, fostering healing, and igniting activism. Art served as a medium for transformation, empowerment and activism.

The exhibition of community projects and initiatives further underscored the importance of grassroots movements in driving sustainable change. From local initiatives advocating for environmental justice to global Amnesty campaigns demanding accountability from corporations, the exhibition showcased the power of collective action in challenging oppressive systems and paving the way for a more just and equitable world.

As the evening drew to a close, participants left with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper commitment to standing in solidarity with communities affected by neocolonialism, extractivism, and consumerism. Through art, activism, and dialogue, “101 Global Landback | Restitution des terres 101” sparked a flame of hope, illuminating pathways toward justice and collective liberation. Keep an eye out for upcoming events where arts and activism meet.